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One-of-a-kind Gifts: Charlotte

Tucked away on Coresh, a small street off the main drag of Shlomtsiyon Hamalka in downtown Jerusalem, Walk down Coresh, the small street off Shlomzion Hamalka behind the main post office, you can find Charlott, the oldest gift shop in the city and home to a vast array of antique and locally made unique items.

“People say it’s like a museum, only you can touch things,” says owner Noga Eshed with pride.

Indeed, you’ll find everything from ancient Middle Eastern artifacts and replicas to contemporary decorative pieces.

For instance, on the right-hand side when you enter the store, you’ll see replicas of 18-19th century Moroccan as well as modern hanukkias (hanukkah candelabras) and farther along, a display of brass and colored ceramic hamsas (the five-fingered amulet used decoratively and in jewelry, said to ward off “the evil eye”) and Persian and Armenian decorative tiles.

And in the back, there is a striking display of blue and turquoise hand-blown Hebron glass vases, pieces of ancient Moroccan and Persian pottery, off-white and pale-blue ceramic and glass necklaces and contemporary decorative art pieces, such as blood red ceramic pomegranate and flower candle-holders.

While Charlott used to be a regular stop for Arab craftsmen travelling along the main street, today Noga has to look for sources to maintain the special character of the store, such as items from Persia and Georgia (the former Soviet Union), from jewelers and ceramicists.

“I feel surrounded by beautiful things that I choose,” Noga says. “I have one of each thing and each one is chosen individually.”

Her favorite items are the hamsas from any material from the artists.

“People ask why do I only buy things I like, and I tell them it’s because I hope people will like them too.”

Store Details

Where: 4 Coresh Street, Jerusalem
Hours: Sunday-Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00-6:00 pm (except
Friday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Contact: 02-652-1632